KJAN Ag/Outdoor

ISU Extension and Outreach to hold 2015 farm land valuation and leasing meetings


July 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Lower crop prices have had a heavy impact on Iowa’s farmers and many are forming their financial plans based on continued low prices. Farmland values and rental rates are heavily influenced by farmers’ current and future revenues. So what does the future hold for Iowa land values and rents? Find out at the land valuation and leasing meeting being held in your area. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach works to bring unbiased information to both land owners and renters to help both parties make successful management decisions.

The land valuation and leasing meetings discuss current land values, rental rates, trends and projections of how values and rents might change in the coming years. Other topics will include: how to calculate a rental rate based on county specific information, the variety of leasing arrangements that land owners and tenants may use, and the expected cost of crop production in the coming year.

There will be a leasing meeting held on July 29th at 9:30 am in Harlan, Iowa, at the Shelby County Extension Office, located at 906 Sixth Street. The cost is $20/person pre-registered, or $25/person without pre-registration. Attendees will receive a land leasing handbook with reference and resource materials. The workshop will last approximately 2 ½ hours. Shane Ellis, ISU farm management specialist for the west central region of the state will be presenting. To register, please call the Shelby County Extension office at 712-755-3104.

ISU Extension and Outreach offers a Beginning Farmer Night


July 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Getting started in agriculture can be a daunting undertaking that requires a significant amount of resources. To help beginning farmers, both young and not so young, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is providing a Beginning Farmer Night on July 22 in Harlan, IA. The presentation starts at 6pm and will be held at the Shelby County Extension office located at 906 Sixth Street.

This meeting will focus on state and USDA programs designed to help new and some existing farmers find the capital resources to start or expand their operation. Existing farmers and landowners may be interested to learn about programs that reward them for mentoring or leasing land to beginning farmers. Speakers will include Steve Ferguson of the Iowa Finance Authority, Bill Anderson with USDA Farm Service Agency, and Shane Ellis, ISU Farm Management Specialist.

This will be an excellent opportunity for current and future producers to learn about beginning farmer programs and loans available directly from program administrators. Bring your questions for an open and friendly group discussion. For more information and to RSVP, please call the Shelby County Extension office at (712) 755-3104.

(Press Release)

Audubon County Fair Queen crowned Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 17th, 2015 by Chris Parks

The Audubon County Fair Queen contest was held Thursday night at the grandstand on the Audubon County Fairgrounds.  2014 Fair Queen Cassie Irlmeier passed along her crown to Tess Albright, an 18-year-old recent graduate of Audubon High School.  Albright was crowned queen out of a field of 7 contestants.  1st Runner-Up was Deann Irlmeier, an 16-year-old Sophomore at Exira-EHK.  2nd Runner-Up went to Jessica Wood, an 18-year-old recent graduate of Exira-EHK High School.

The candidates met on Thursday, July 9th at the Audubon County Extension Office to enjoy a meal catered by Simply Sweet.  That night they were interviewed as part of the judging process on criteria that included community involvement, speaking abilities and poise.  The Audubon County Fair Board supports the contestants by providing the meal, crown and sash, prizes, and State Fair accommodations to the winner.

Albright will now participate in the Iowa State Fair Queen Contest August 11th-15th. Coronation of the State Fair Queen will be Saturday, August 15th at 7 pm on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage.

The full list of candidates were: Tess Albright, Emily Campbell, Ashley Hansen, Deann Irlmeier, Sarah Mosinski, Aly Vance, and Jessica Wood.

USDA: Many factors considered amid animal disease outbreaks

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it considers many factors when determining ways to euthanize large numbers of animals during a disease outbreak. The agency released the statement Thursday in response to a letter from an animal rights group criticizing a USDA proposal to respond to a future outbreak of bird flu.

The Humane Society of The United States’ letter focused on statements made by USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford during a Senate committee hearing last week. Clifford said shutting off ventilation systems to barns when the highly contagious disease is found may be more humane and efficient than gassing or using foam to suffocate the birds. Those methods were used amid this year’s outbreak.

The animal rights group says the latest idea is gruesome and should be scrapped.

Some economic growth likely in rural parts of 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new survey suggests modest economic growth ahead in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, but the predicted decline in farm income this year remains a concern. The overall Rural Mainstreet economic index inched into positive territory in July at 53.4. In June the index registered a neutral score of 50.

The index has risen for four months. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the trend is encouraging, but the bankers surveyed still aren’t very optimistic. The confidence index remained in negative territory at 46.6 after improving from June’s 45.9.

The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in that factor in the months ahead. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Commodity Carnival at Shelby County Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Persons attending the Shelby County Fair have a chance to partake in the Commodity Carnival. Brought to you through a partnership between CME Group and the National 4-H Council, the Commodity Carnival – now in its third year – is an interactive, educational fair experience that allows young fairgoers to play games that teach them about managing the risks and costs associated with producing and bringing animals to market. The Commodity Carnival booth will be at the Shelby County Fair from July 16th through the 18th, and fairgoers can even take the newest “Risk Ranch” game home with them on their mobile device.

To see Risk Ranch in action, you can download the game for iOS or Android, or to find out more information, go to http://www.cmegroup.com/education/4-h.html. The app launched last year and now allows you to raise both a hog and a steer while learning about commodities.

USDA Report 07-16-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 16th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Cass County Extension Report 07-15-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 15th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


YPA to serve as guest Chefs Thursday at PiP

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Young Professionals of Atlantic (YPA) organization have announced the members will be guest chefs this Thursday (July 16th) at Produce in the Park, in the Atlantic City Park.

YPA logo

The YPA will be serving tasty double chocolate zucchini muffins. Zucchini is just coming into season at area farmers markets. Zucchini is low in calories, contains Potassium and Vitamin A.

YPA will also use this opportunity to share information about the organization and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Young Professionals of Atlantic are an Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce program and supported by Cass County Health System and McCurdy Investments.

YPA connects, engages, and attracts young leaders into our community while promoting Atlantic and the surrounding area. Visit the Young Professionals of Atlantic at Produce in the Park to learn more, and to get involved.

Council Bluffs considering bowhunting season for turkeys

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

July 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Council Bluffs may become the first Iowa city to allow bowhunting to reduce its turkey population. The Daily Nonpareil reports Public Health Director Donn Dierks on Monday proposed enacting a bowhunting season to City Council members.

Dierks says the season would be similar to the city’s deer hunting season. It would apply only to female turkeys, occur in the fall and be limited to land covered by the deer ordinance. Hunters would need to pass a proficiency test.

Council Bluffs would be the first Iowa city to enact such a season, but Dierks says other communities are considering it. Dierks says the hunt would reduce turkey numbers, which have let to numerous complaints. He plans to make a formal request for council approval later this month.